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Title:
AERIAL CABLE SPACER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/212366
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A cable spacer which comprises a modular design so that it can be easily adapted to a wide variety of cable quantities and types while maintaining ready access to individual wires without disturbing adjacent wires is disclosed. The cable spacer comprising of a rectangular block body having a C-shaped carrier member, an insert member detachably mountable into said C-shaped carrier member, and a cable retaining member lockably mounted to said C-shaped carrier member. The rectangular block body could be interconnected and interlocked to create multiple cable holders and could be provided with a hanger member for supporting on a messenger wire or other mounting arrangements and a connecting brace for fixing two sets of aerial cable spacers into a parallel integral structure.

Inventors:
HEILVEIL, Peter S. (Unit 69, The Colonnade Residences132 Legaspi Street, Legaspi Villag, Makati City 1227, PH)
Application Number:
PH2019/000006
Publication Date:
November 07, 2019
Filing Date:
May 02, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HEILVEIL, Peter S. (Unit 69, The Colonnade Residences132 Legaspi Street, Legaspi Villag, Makati City 1227, PH)
International Classes:
H02G7/12
Foreign References:
JPH09329275A1997-12-22
US4775121A1988-10-04
US20090224111A12009-09-10
US20180051514A12018-02-22
JP2003111255A2003-04-11
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FEDERIS, Mila (Federis and Associates Law Offices, Suites 2004 and 200588 Corporate Center 141 Valero St., Salcedo Villag, Makati City 1227, PH)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. An aerial cable spacer defined by a generally rectangular block body, said rectangular block body comprising a C-shaped carrier member, an insert member detachably mountable into said C-shaped carrier member, a cable retaining member lockably mounted to said C-shaped carrier member, and a hanger member provided on said rectangular block body; wherein said insert member is insertable to and removable from said C-shaped carrier member, and being provided with protrusions on the outer surface of the top and bottom walls thereof that engage with said C-shaped carrier member to lock and maintain said insert member while in inserted position.

2. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein said insert member is provided with outwardly protruding fins disposed on the inner portion thereof and defining thereon plurality of ovate cable passageways adapted to support and receive thereon cables in the state of use.

3. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein a sub-insert member may be detachably mounted on said insert member for arranging and capturing sets of small wires and cables.

4. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein said C-shaped carrier member is provided with notches disposed on the top and bottom inner portions thereof and a pair of protruding lips disposed on the outer edges of the inner surface thereof adapted to retain the insert member in position once placed within said C-shaped carrier member.

5. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein said C-shaped carrier member is further provided with outwardly projecting protrusions disposed on the upper and bottom portions thereof adapted to be insertably mounted on openings provided on the upper and bottom portions of another C-shaped carrier member of an adjacent rectangular block body.

6. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein the upper end portion of said cable retaining member is provided with a three-element locking mechanism, said three-element locking mechanism comprising: a flexible wedge-shaped element that compresses when the cable retaining member is closed and returns to its original shape after passing a retaining edge disposed on the top wall of said C-shaped carrier member thereby creating a wedge lock, a protruding element from the top of the wedge-shaped element which engages with a receiving notch provided on the outer top wall of said C-shaped carrier member and simultaneously with another receiving notch disposed on the hanger member or notch disposed on a bottom wall of a carrier member of a vertically adjacent rectangular block body, and a bottom surface of the wedge-shaped element disposed directly above a corresponding ledge element provided in the C-shaped carrier member such that in locked position, the cable retaining member acts as a structural support to the C-shaped carrier member.

7. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein said cable retaining member is further provided with a moveable handle adapted to be pushed downwardly to disengage the locking mechanism, a fixed handle disposed below said moveable handle adapted to limit the vertical motion of said moveable handle, and a rib disposed on the outer side portion of said cable retaining member adapted to provide additional strength preventing breakage of the fixed handle and cable retaining member.

8. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein said hanger member and C-shaped carrier member are provided with chamfers disposed on the lower edges of T-shaped protrusions provided therein adapted to sufficiently allow the three-element locking mechanism to engage itself without the need of opening the cable retaining member.

9. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , wherein said hanger member is provided with a locking mechanism for locking said hanger member onto a suspending support cable in the form of interlocking complementary T-shaped protrusion halves engaged by pressing said T- shaped protrusion halves together and disengaged by utilizing a twisting motion of each T-shaped protrusion halves relative to each other.

10. The aerial cable spacer according to claim 1 , further including a connecting brace adapted to provide a means for fixing two sets of aerial cable spacers into a parallel integral structure.

Description:
AERIAL CABLE SPACER

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates in general to a spacing device, more particularly to an aerial cable spacer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Aerial cable spacers support power, telecommunication, CATV and similar cables in organized arrays while attached to a supporting messenger cable. Variations of this device can be adapted to secure other materials besides just wires, such as surgical tubing or other generally linear materials, can accommodate a large variety of different materials in a single configuration (e.g., different wire sizes and/or types), and can be mounted by other means than a messenger cable or utilized without mounting hardware. In placing aerial mounted cables as in the case of installing electrical cables and telephone and other communication systems on elevated poles, it is necessary or desirable to provide a spacing mechanism for holding several cables in fixed position relative to one another both vertically and horizontally. This is generally accomplished by use of plastic or metal spacers which mount to a messenger wire (steel tensioning cable) and provide receptacles for holding cables discretely separated from each other. One such system has been identified in Philippine Patent Application No. 1-2017-000049. While the system described therein provides a means for ready access to suspended wires, it does not provide the key features of the present application and hence does not address the primary concerns for which the present application is designed. Philippine Patent Application No. 1-2017-000049 requires custom design and manufacture of intricate components to be able to adapt to differing wire sizes and types. This involves a lengthy and costly procedure to develop customized products for various applications. To resolve its drawbacks, there is a need for a cable spacer which can be rapidly and cost-effectively manufactured to suit a wide variety of cable sizes and shapes and can be readily adapted to field conditions on the fly. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention serves to secure up to hundreds of cables at a time of varying sizes and types, in discreet bundles, with individual wires readily accessible without the removal or addition of any loose components in service. It is therefore the main object of the present application to provide for a cable spacer which comprises a modular design and utilizing interchangeable inserts so that it can be easily adapted to a wide variety of cable quantities and types while maintaining ready access to individual wires without disturbing adjacent wires and which can be assembled and disassembled without the use of tools.

Another object of the present application is to provide a cable spacer which has vertical connectors that allow for connecting either a pair of cable holding modules or a single module in a centered manner.

Another object of the present application is to provide a cable spacer capable of resisting long-term exposure to high levels of ultraviolet radiation, heat, rain and high winds.

Another object of the present application is to provide a spacing device that can be adapted to hold a wide variety of linear materials in a variety of applications. Another object of the present application is to provide a cable spacing system that can accommodate a variety of cable types and sizes either uniformly or in a combined state. Still another object of the present application is to provide a cable spacer wherein the design of which allows for an anti-vandal version that resists being opened except when using a special tool.

Other objects and advantages of the present application will be highly appreciated and be easily understood upon reading the detailed description taking into consideration the appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of an aerial cable spacer in open position with an insert member in place; Figure 2 is an exploded view of the preferred embodiment of the aerial cable spacer showing the parts thereof in disassembled manner;

Figure 3 is an illustrative front view of different variations of insert members used for the aerial cable spacer;

Figure 4 is a perspective view of an aerial cable spacer in open position with insert member and sub-insert member in place;

Figure 5 is an illustrative front view showing a pair of aerial cable spacer rectangular block bodies in assembled manner with two different insert members in place;

Figure 6A-6B are perspective views of a C-shaped carrier member used for the aerial cable spacer, wherein Figure 6A shows a front perspective view of a C-shaped carrier member with a cable retaining member in locked position and Figure 6B shows a rear perspective view of a C-shaped carrier member without a cable retaining member;

Figures 7A-7D are perspective views of different variations of hanger members used for the aerial cable spacer, wherein Figures 7A and 7C show hanger member in open position and Figures 7B and 7D show hanger member in closed position;

Figure 8 is a perspective view of a cable retaining member used for the aerial cable spacer;

Figure 9 is an illustrative front view showing examples of different types and sizes of wires insertable to different variations of insert members.

Figure 10 is an illustrative perspective view showing an aerial cable spacer in a state of use; and

Figures 11 is an illustrative perspective view of a connecting brace used for the aerial cable spacer. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Hereinafter, exemplary embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings. Referring to the drawings in detail, there is shown an embodiment of the present invention for a cable spacer generally designated as reference numeral 10 made preferably by means of injection molding, although other means such as transfer molding, Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machining and casting can be employed depending on specific application requirements, and made of plastic material preferably Polybutylene Terephthalate (PBT) with Glass Fiber Reinforcement, Polycarbonate (PC), Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), or Polypropylene (PP), with or without fiber fill, although alternative materials such as other polymers or suitable metals, can be utilized depending on specific locations and applications of use.

Figure 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of an aerial cable spacer in open position with insert in place. The aerial cable spacer 10 defined by a generally rectangular block body 11 includes a generally C-shaped carrier member 20, an insert member 30 detachably mountable into said C-shaped carrier member, and a cable retaining member 40 hingedly attached on said C-shaped carrier member.

As illustrated in Figure 2, the C-shaped carrier member 20 having a top wall 21 , a vertical sidewall 23 unitarily projecting downwardly from the inner end portion of said top wall 21 , a bottom wall 22 unitarily projecting outwardly from the end portion of said vertical side wall 23 and open side portion 24 opposing said vertical sidewall 23 wherein said cable retaining member 40 being mounted thereon closing said open side portion 24. Said top wall 21 having plurality of spaced and alternating male and female interlocking means, preferably in the form of T-shaped protrusions 25 and defining in-between thereof complementary T-shaped receptacles 26. The T-shaped protrusions can alternatively be made angular, like V-shaped, rounded like circular or C-shaped or ribbed as may suit varying materials and applications. Said top wall 21 further having a lock receiving notch 27 provided on the outer edge portion 211 thereof. Said bottom wall 22 also having plurality of spaced T-shaped protrusions 25a and defining in- between thereof complementary T-shaped receptacles 26a adapted to receive thereon corresponding T-shaped protrusions 25 (or other variety of connector shape choices as delineated above). The T-shaped protrusions 25 is being alternatively aligned with the T-shaped receptacles 26a. Both sides of the lower edges of the outer and middle T-shaped protrusions 25a are provided with chamfers 251 a. The outer portion of said bottom wall 22 is also provided with a notch 222 that engages with a locking mechanism of the cable retaining member 40. The inner portions of said top wall 21 and bottom wall 22 are each provided with a notch 28 disposed on the middle portion of the outer edges thereof. A pair of protruding lips 29 is also provided each on the outer edges of the inner surfaces of said top wall 21 and bottom wall 22 which protrude into the opening of the C-shaped carrier member 20. Said notches and protruding lips are adapted to retain the insert member 30 in position once placed within the C-shaped carrier member.

The insert member 30 is manually insertable to and removable from the said C-shaped carrier member 20 but cannot unintentionally disengage while in inserted position. Said insert member 30 having protrusions 31 on the outer surface of the top and bottom walls thereof that engages with the notches 28 provided on the inner portion of the C-shaped carrier member 20 to lock and maintain said insert member 30 while in inserted position. Preferably, the inner portion of said insert member 30 is provided with outwardly protruding fins 32 and defining thereon plurality of ovate cable passageways “P”. The number and shape of fins can and will vary depending on the specific wire or tube type and quantity to be contained. The plurality of ovate cable passageways“P” are adapted to support and receive thereon cables "C" in the state of use as illustrated in Figure 10 or other materials and configurations as earlier described. Figure 3 shows different variations of the insert member 30 used for the aerial cable spacer. While Figure 3 illustrates samples of the variations of the insert member 30, the present invention is not limited thereof, and may incorporate any of a variety of insert member with protrusions suitable to holding wires, cables, smaller inserts or other objects of varying sizes and shapes.

As illustrated in Figure 4, a sub-insert member 50 may be detachably mounted on said insert member 30 for arranging and capturing sets of small wires, such as but not limited to, fiber optic cables. This provides a means of securing multiple small cables or similar materials which would otherwise be too small for fitting to a standard insert member 30. The sub-insert member 50 is manually insertable to and removable from the said insert member 30 but cannot unintentionally disengage while in inserted position.

Figure 5 is an illustrative front view showing a pair of aerial cable spacer rectangular block bodies 11a and 11b in assembled manner with two different insert members in place. The outer portion of block body 11a is provided with outwardly projecting protrusion“L” provided on the upper portion of the vertical sidewall 23 of the C-shaped carrier member 20 that is adapted to be insertably mounted on an opening“0” provided on the upper portion of the vertical sidewall 23 of the C-shaped carrier member 20 of block body 11b.

As illustrated in Figures 6A and 6B, the outer portion of block body 11a is further provided with outwardly projecting protrusion Ύ provided on the lower portion of the vertical sidewall 23 of the C-shaped carrier member 20 that is adapted to be insertably mounted on a notch“N” provided on inner T-shaped protrusion 25a of the C-shaped carrier member 20 of block body 11b.The overlapping outwardly projecting protrusion Ί” and notch“N” are adapted to act as a counter-lock preventing the outwardly projecting protrusion“L” from disengaging unintentionally from the opening“O”.

Figures 7A-7D are perspective views of different variations of the hanger member used for the aerial cable spacer, wherein Figures 7A and 7C show hanger member in open position and Figures 7B and 7D show hanger member in closed position. To hang interconnected aerial cable spacer rectangular block bodies to a suspending support cable, a removable hanger member 60 is being connected on the T-shaped protrusions 25 and complementary T-shaped receptacles 26 of the C- shaped carrier member 20. Said hanger member 60 defined by an inverted T-shaped hanger 61 with corresponding plurality of spaced and alternating male and female interlocking means preferably in the form of T-shaped protrusions 62 and T-shaped receptacles 63 on its bottom surface portion. Both sides of the lower edges of the outer T-shaped protrusions 62 are provided with chamfers 621. Preferably, said inverted T-shaped hanger 61 having a hinged upper portion 64 that projects and curved downwardly forming a through opening 65 thereon. On said through opening 65 is where a suspending support cable is being insertably mounted. There is a fastener, preferably a stainless steel pin 66 with chamfered ends in said hinged upper portion 64, connecting hinge halves 61a and 61 b of the T- shaped hanger 61.

The middle T-shaped protrusion 62 is provided with a locking mechanism for locking the hanger member 60 onto a suspending support cable in the form of interlocking complementary T-shaped protrusion halves 62a and 62b. Said interlocking complementary T-shaped protrusion halves 62a and 62b provide a means of securely locking the hanger member in closed position without the use of any separate component. The hanger member locking mechanism is engaged by pressing said T-shaped protrusion halves 62a and 62b together and disengaged by utilizing a twisting motion of each T-shaped protrusion halves 62a and 62b relative to each other. The outermost T-shaped protrusion 62 is provided with a notch 67 that engages with a locking mechanism of the cable retaining member 40.

The hinged hanger member 60 can alternatively be shaped with a fixed hooked opening on the top rather than the hinged opening. This entire hanger mechanism can alternatively be substituted with a hanger utilizing the same lower interconnecting shapes (T-shaped, V-shaped, C-shaped, etc), but with upper sections that are designed to be bolted, screwed, welded, riveted or otherwise attached to walls, ceilings, beams and similar structures, mounted horizontally, vertically or in any other orientation. Figure 8 is a perspective view of the cable retaining member used for the aerial cable spacer. The cable retaining member 40 is disposed on the open side portion 24 of the C-shaped carrier member 20 and being hingedly attached on the outer end portion 221 of the bottom wall 22 as illustrated in Figure 1. The upper end portion 402 of said cable retaining member 40 is provided with a three-element locking mechanism. The first element is a flexible wedge-shaped element 41 that compresses when the cable retaining member 40 is closed and returns to its original shape after passing a retaining edge 212 (shown in Figure 2) disposed on the top wall of the C- shaped carrier member 20 thereby creating a wedge lock. This keeps the cable retaining member 40 in closed position while in service but makes said cable retaining member 40 easily and readily openable as needed without the use of any tools. The second element is a protruding element 42 from the top of the wedge-shaped element 41 which engages with the receiving notch 27 provided on the outer top wall 21 of the C-shaped carrier member 20 and simultaneously with another receiving notch 67 disposed on the outermost T-shaped protrusion 62 of the hanger member 60 or notch 222 disposed on the bottom wall 22 of a carrier member 20 of a vertically adjacent rectangular block body. This engagement prevents the rectangular block body and hanger member 60, or rectangular block body and vertically adjacent rectangular block body, from being slid apart while in locked position. The hanger member 60 maintains the vertical connection between the components while the interlocking protruding element 42 and notches maintains the lateral orientation wherein pairs of rectangular block bodies, or rectangular block body and hanger member, can only be detached from each other when the wedge lock is depressed.

The third element is the bottom surface 43 of the wedge-shaped element 41 disposed directly above a corresponding ledge element 213 (shown in Figure 2) provided in the C-shaped carrier member 20 wherein in locked position, the cable retaining member 40 will act as a support element providing structural support to the C-shaped carrier member 20. As the carrier member 20 is an open C-shaped element, a load placed within the C-shaped area would bear down upon the lower horizontal portion of the carrier member 20 and could cause it to flex and bend downwardly, which would be detrimental to its intended function. The bottom surface 43 of the wedge-shaped element 41 , upon engaging with the ledge, and being held in place by the wedge-shaped element locking mechanism, allows the cable retaining member 40 to become an effective fourth wall providing structural integrity to the C-shaped carrier member 20.

The cable retaining member 40 is provided with a moveable handle 44 and a fixed handle 45 disposed below said moveable handle 44 adapted to disengage the locking mechanism. This allows for a pinch and pull motion to open the locking mechanism, wherein the vertical motion of the moveable handle 44 is being limited by the fixed handle 45, preventing breakage due to over extended motion of the said moveable handle 44. The fixed handle 45 is also adapted to provide a degree of protection of the moveable handle 44 from damage due to flying debris. Furthermore, a rib 46 is also provided on the cable retaining member 40 disposed on the outer side portion thereof. Said rib 46 extends up to and protrudes under the fixed handle 45 to provide additional strength preventing breakage of the fixed handle 45 and the body of the cable retaining member 40 as a whole. As recited above, the rectangular block bodies are designed to accommodate plurality of cables, however, it is an intention of the applicant not to limit the same for plurality of cables but each rectangular block body could accommodate one large cable that could be interconnected with rectangular block bodies that could accommodate plurality of cables. As shown in Figure 9, the rectangular block body 11e accommodates one cable“C1” only, as such, the C-shaped carrier member 20 is utilized without an insert member 30. Said rectangular block body 11e could be interconnected to another rectangular block body 11 c and 11d that accommodates plurality of cables“C” of different sized and shapes. In use, the hanger member 40 is placed over a messenger wire or suspending support cable, locked closed, and the cable holding rectangular block bodies with or without insert members 30 are interconnected to it, with the corresponding T-shaped protrusions 25 and T-shaped receptacles 26 of the C-shaped carrier member 20 being aligned to the corresponding

T-shaped protrusions 62 and T-shaped receptacles 63 of the hanger member 60, and the components are pushed together forming an interconnected aerial cable spacer.

The chamfers 621 provided on the both sides lower edges of the outer T-shaped protrusions 62 of the hanger member 60 automatically moves the moveable handle 44 downwards when components are being pushed together, sufficiently to allow the locking mechanism to engage itself without the need of opening the cable retaining member 40. In a similar manner, the chamfers 251a provided on both sides of the lower edges of the outer and middle T-shaped protrusions 25a of the C-shaped carrier member 20 serve the same purpose as the chamfers 612 provided on hanger member 60 when two vertically adjacent rectangular block bodies are interconnected.

When the cable retaining member 40 of the rectangular block bodies is in its closed position, the three-element locking mechanism provided on the cable retaining member 40 prevents components from becoming misaligned or separated laterally. With such, the connected components provide a passageway "P" wherein the cable "C" to be held and spaced is being received thereon. When the T-shaped protrusion of the C-shaped carrier member is aligned with a corresponding T-shaped receptacle of a neighboring rectangular block body and pressed together, the tapered edges of both components cause the T-shaped protrusion to slide into the T-shaped receptacle thereby creating an interlocking joint. The pressure caused by the compression within the material provides a grip such that the aerial cable spacers tend to remain interlocked with neighboring aerial cable spacers while the T-shaped protrusion of the C-shaped carrier member, when closed, interlocks with the T-shaped receptacles provided on the bottom of the above hanger member or other cable hanging mechanism (CHM) thereby preventing any lateral movement of the components. The shape and positioning of the T-shape protrusions serve to hold the components in direct contact with each other without the need for any additional components. To separate components requires only to unlock the hinged side and slide the components laterally apart.

With such arrangement, a desired number and configuration of cable holding spaces could be conveniently formed by interconnecting a series of CHM’s with their hanger.

Upon assembly, corresponding cables "C" are placed within the ovate passageways "P" and then the hinged side wall or cable retaining member 40 is closed and locked. With a plurality of spacers placed upon the messenger wire at suitable intervals the cables are able to be supported while remaining easily accessible.

As illustrated in Figure 1 1 , a connecting brace 70 is adapted which provides a means for fixing two sets of aerial cable spacers into a parallel integral structure. Said connecting brace 70 includes two identical parts such that when one is inverted and placed around the top of two hanger members and snapped together, it provides a rigid semi-permanent connection between the two hanger members (with interconnected rectangular block bodies) maintaining the components in a parallel configuration.

With the foregoing it is desired that the present application seeks to protect all novel features of the subject application as illustrated in the above embodiments including all modifications that may be obvious to those persons skilled in the art derived thereof.

Reference Signs List:

10 Aerial cable spacer

1 1 Rectangular block body

1 1 a, 11 , 1 1 c, 11 d, 1 1 e Aerial cable spacer rectangular block body

20 C-shaped carrier member

21 Top wall

21 1 Top wall outer edge portion

212 Retaining edge

213 Ledge element

22 Bottom wall

221 Bottom wall outer end portion

222 Bottom wall outer portion notch

23 Vertical sidewall

24 Open side portion

25 Top wall T-shaped protrusions

25a Bottom wall T-shaped protrusions

251a Bottom wall T-shaped protrusion chamfers

26 Top wall T-shaped receptacles

26a Bottom wall T-shaped receptacles

27 Top wall notch

28 Top wall and bottom wall inner portion notch

29 Top wall and bottom wall protruding lips

30 Insert member

31 Insert member protrusion 32 Insert member protruding fins

40 Cable retaining member

402 Cable retaining member upper end portion

41 Cable retaining member wedge-shaped element

42 Cable retaining member protruding element

43 Cable retaining member wedge-shaped element bottom surface

44 Moveable handle

45 Fixed handle

46 Cable retaining member rib

50 Sub-insert member

60 Hanger member

61 Hanger member T-shaped hanger

61a, 61b T-shaped hanger hinge halves

62 Hanger member T-shaped protrusion

62a, 62b Hanger member T-shaped protrusion halves

621 Hanger member T-shaped protrusion chamfer

63 Hanger member T-shaped receptacle

64 T-shaped hanger hinged upper portion

65 Hanger member through opening

66 Hinged upper portion stainless steel pin

67 Hanger member outermost T-shaped protrusion notch

70 Connecting brace

“P” Insert member cable passageways

"C", "C1" Cables

“L” Rectangular block body upper portion outwardly projecting protrusion

“O” Rectangular block body opening “I” Rectangular block body lower portion outwardly projecting protrusion

“N” C-shaped carrier member inner T-shaped protrusion notch